'Quiltmaker' sews up heartwarming tale

By: Review Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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Sutter Street Theatre wraps production on "The Quiltmaker's Gift" this week, leaving audiences with warm memories. The last chance to see the play is 1 p.m. Dec. 29. The musical stars a few regular Sutter Street Theatre actors such as Brady Tait and Christopher Celestin and infuses the play with the warm vocals of Christine Alvarez as the title character. Alvarez's voice is the real gift, elevating the play to a professional level. Her training shows. Alvarez is a graduate of he Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts and has starred in this same play before at a different theater. Matthew Udall is no stranger to the stage. Starring as The Old Man, Udall acts as the narrator, threading the story together. Celestin, 17, made for a wonderfully selfish king ready to be taught a lesson about life. Fifteen-year-old Tait, as the head guard, played off Celestin's antics well. The two make for an outstanding young comedy duo. Mike Jimena, the artistic director responsible for the set design, takes a turn as The Bear, complete with his own song. Sage Innerarity and Nicole Schedler had many of the younger crowd in the audience laughing as they bumbled around as guards. Jordan Poczobutt, as The Little Girl, is on stage along with Udall during the entire play. She occasionally inserts herself into scenes, helping move the plot forward. The deft touch of director Allen Schmeltz is evident as he makes excellent use of characters, stage and settings. I recommend catching this play when it comes around again in the region. * * * CAST Christine Alvarez Matthew Udall Christopher Celestin Brady Tait Sage Innerarity Nicole Schedler Jordan Poczobutt Mike Jimena Information: (916) 353-1001, Rating: 5 out of 5 stars * * * Upcoming plays Off Broadway Series 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays "The Fantasticks," Jan. 7-Feb. 6 "There Should be Roses," Feb. 11-March 13 "Nunsense," March 18-May 1 "You Can't Take It With You," May 6-June 5 "The Kids Left, The Dog Died, Now What?" June 10-July 17 "Musical Comedy Murders of 1940," July 22-Aug. 28 "Cabaret," Sept. 2-Oct. 16 "Witness for the Prosecution," Oct. 21-Nov. 20 "Holiday in the Hills," Dec. 4-23 Young People's Series 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays "The Emperor's New Clothes," Jan. 8-Feb. 6 "Hansel and Gretel," Feb. 19-March 20 "Noodle Doodle Box," March 6-May 1 "13 The Musical," April 2-May 1 "Dorothy Meets Alice or The Wizard of Wonderland," May 14-June 5 "The Chronicles of Narnia," Sept. 10-Oct. 16 "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Oct. 29-Nov. 27 "The Magic Toyshop," Dec. 12-30